Letters & Opinion

Gas Changes Looming

ABOVE and beyond the recent 30% drop in oil prices, there are greater changes looming on the horizon. For those of who are not fully in tune, it may surprise many to know that within three years, significant changes are likely to take effect in the way our vehicles will be fuelled. By mid-2015 several hundred vehicles will be running on liquefied gas not gasolene and by 2017, this change is likely to take place on diesel powered vehicles.

In the case of gasolene operated vehicles, the conversion is relatively simple as a particular part will be installed which will deal with the conversion from gasolene to liquefied gas.

The Trinidad & Tobago Government has calculated that the millions of dollars lost on subsidised gasolene to locals makes little sense, as this petrol if exported, can produce far greater returns. Simultaneously, running a vehicle on liquefied gas is a whole lot cheaper and cleaner. This decision was taken by Trinidad & Tobago government based on the fact that the U.S. can now produce liquefied gas at 10% of the cost that Trinidad & Tobago can. It should be noted that Trinidad & Tobago supplies 95% of the liquefied Gas used by the tristate of the U.S. (New York, Philadelphia and Washington).

Trinidad & Tobago is presently in the throes of calculating the best method of supplying its neighbours with liquefied gas for this conversion. Already, the much discussed pipeline has reached Tobago and with Barbados and Martinique patiently awaiting connection, we may soon witness some sort of acceleration on this project.

Our politicians need to take heed when changes of this nature manifest themselves as other industries could easily follow suit. The cost of liquefied gas is a whole lot cheaper and could very well place a dampener on alternative energies which we are likely to pursue at high capital costs. These are serious transformations which we need to reflect on very quickly.

Michael Chastanet

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